Are Roboshops the future?

In the future shopping for groceries might be different from the way we know now. A Swedish start up, Wheelys, works together with China´s Hefei Unversity of Technology to overhaul the shopping experience. They predict that in future everyone, from big retailers to small communities, will employ their own mobile, automatic grocery. The technologies are already there – self-driving cars, mobile payment and wireless tagging of stock.

But the concept of small grocery shops that come to the customer are still in an early state and are currently being road-tested. It will be some time before it becomes reality. The rise of online shopping turned the retail experience upside down. For many online shopping is more convenient, offers lower prices and it is responsive to their preferences. On the other hand, going to an actual store offers the chance to choose the ripest fruit and talk to other people.

Retailers now try to offer the best of both worlds – on and offline. In China there are already more than 150 static automatic shops. You enter by swiping your mobile phone, scan each item and the bill is settled via an online payment system. This also cuts the running costs for stores significantly. China forges ahead with the cashierless store concept. Although it might take a while until cashierless shopping arrives, it will definitely come, experts say.

groceries (ˈgrəʊsəriz) – die Lebensmittel

together (təˈgeðəʳ) – zusammen, gemeinsam

to overhaul (ˈəʊvəhɔ:l) – etw überholen, bearbeiten

experience (ɪkˈspɪəriən(t)s) – die Erfahrung

to predict (prɪˈdɪkt) – etw vorhersagen

retailer (ˈri:tləʳ) – der Einzelhändler

to employ (ɪmˈplɔɪ) – jdn einstellen, beschäftigen

payment (ˈpmənt) – die Bezahlung

wireless (ˈwələs) – kabellos

to tag (tæg) – etw markieren, kennzeichnen

stock (stɒk) – der Bestand, Vorrat

currently (ˈkʌrəntli) – zurzeit, gegenwärtig

to road-test (rəʊd-test) – etwas Probe fahren, testen

convenient (kənˈvi:niənt) – zweckmäig, praktisch, bequem

to offer (ˈɒfəʳ) – etw anbieten

responsive (rɪˈspɒn(t)sɪv) – entgegenkommend, gut reagierend

preference (ˈprefərən(t)s) – die Priorität, Vorliebe

ripe (rp) – reif

already (ɔ:lˈredi) – bereits, schon

item (ˈtəm) – der Artikel, Gegenstand

bill (bɪl) – die Rechnung

running cost (ˈrʌnɪŋkɒst) – laufende Kosten

to forge ahead (fɔ:ʤ) – hier: vorauseilen, die Fürhung übernehmen

cashierless (kæʃˈɪəʳ) – Kassiererlos, ohne Kassierer